Robots hone their soccer skills in Eindhoven
Last week over a thousand mechanical robots and their drivers came to the Dutch city of Eindhoven, in order to practice their soccer abilities.
The RoboCup is an international research initiative with ambitious aims. Participants hope that by 2050 they will have developed machines with the technical ability to beat the (human) Football World Cup winners.
From Wall-E to Optimus Prime
The tournament is divided into classes for different robots, with categories ranging from small to large, humanoid to virtual.
The smaller robots cost around 5.000 U.S. Dollars, while 35.000 U.S. Dollars will get you a hand-made, adult-size model.
They communicate through wireless internet connections and are programmed to perform different types of kick, depending on whether they are passing or shooting.
The mid-size robot competition has been referred to as the "R2D2 League," and takes place on an 18 metre court. These robots also have a respectable top speed of 14mph.
No humans allowed
Throughout the tournament, matches are played entirely by the robots. The only human interference permitted, aside from the off-stage operating of controls, is for referees to remove a fouling or broken robot.
The organisers plan to one day combine robots of all shapes and sizes, in order to create a non-human "dream team."
They also hope that, by encouraging wide-spread interest in robots, they might spur robotic developments which will be useful to fields other than sports.
Source: The Telegraph